Book Review: Red Scarf Girl by Ji Li Jiang

Red Scarf Girl by Ji-Li Jiang is a compelling memoir from a girl growing up during the Chinese cultural revolution. Filled with patriotic fervor for the Chinese communist government, Ji-li is at first ashamed to be part of her family, which is persecuted because of her grandfather’s political beliefs. But as she sees injustices heaped onto the heads of many people around her, she gradually becomes disillusioned and no longer believes government propaganda. Ji-Li’s authentic voice inspires discussion about family loyalties, government betrayals, and China’s history.

This is a great book to read with children. I read it aloud to my daughter, who could not believe that this life happened to this girl and so many like her in China. It prompted lots of discussion about families and government. Even kids as young as 10 or 11 should be able to appreciate the story, and it’s fascinating for adults too.

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